By Ewa Innocent, The Sight News
Abakaliki: The Governor of Ebonyi state, Engr. David Umahi, has condemned the recent killing of the former member of the Abakaliki Capital Territory Development Board, Chief Geoffrey Mgbada by thugs who parade themselves as Vehicle Inspection Officers(VIO).
In a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Sir Emmanuel Uzor, Umahi described the death of the elder statesman as very callous, and called for a thorough investigation into the matter.
According to the statement, “The Governor on hearing about the death of Chief Mgbada expressed great sadness and ordered the Commissioner of Police to arrest and prosecute the suspects who paraded themselves as VIO Officers. Let it be known that the Governor in a town hall meeting with Ebonyians, proscribed all task-force agents working under any guise using the state government as cover.
“In the proscription order, the Governor also dissolved all revenue and tax agents in the state at all levels with a promise to convene another town hall meeting where a new tax and other revenue will be deliberated and agreed upon and the Governor is yet to convene this meeting before this ugly incident.
“The Governor is saddened by this careless death and wishes to dissociate the state government from the illegal activities of the VIO and other task force agents in the state and directs for immediate arrest and prosecution of such illegal tax or revenue agents”, the statement read.
Furthermore, Umahi in the statement, commiserated with the family of the deceased and vowed to ensure that justice is done while urging the members of the public to resist illegal revenue agents as the only body legally permitted to collect revenue on behalf of the government is the newly inaugurated Board of Internal Revenue.
It will be recalled that Chief Geoffery Mgbada was allegedly killed in the early hours of Tuesday by suspected members of Vehicle Inspection Officers, VIO who were on illegal duty along Presco-Ezza road, Abakaliki.
It was gathered that the deceased who was said to be driving with his wife was intercepted by the VIO and in the cause of their illegal duties, argument ensued which led to one of the VIO agents to push him and he felled down and hit his head on the concrete road and gave up.
However, two members of the team were immediately arrested by the Anti-kidnapping Unit of the Nigeria Police while the leader of the illegal team was equally arrested.
The body of the deceased has been deposited at the mortuary at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.